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  4. Shark CarpetXpert EX201 Review:

Shark CarpetXpert EX201 Review: A New Era of Clean

Shark, a leader in the upright vacuum market, just released its first carpet cleaner. We bought one and evaluated it extensively over several weeks, comparing it to some seasoned competitors to create this comprehensive Shark CarpetXpert EX201 review.

We were initially skeptical about the EX201 since it’s Shark’s first attempt at a carpet cleaner. However, it performed really well in our studio. If you need an efficient carpet cleaning companion, this Shark CarpetXpert review will provide all the details necessary to make an informed decision.

Verdict

In our evaluations, the Shark CarpetExpert EX201excelled in removing both wet and dried stains, and it outperformed some top models on the market particularly in suction power and features. This carpet cleaner offers one of the most comprehensive attachment sets for various cleaning needs, and the onboard hose, oxy solution mixing system, and hassle-free dirt bin emptying process also elevate the cleaning experience.

Pros

Cons

  • Superior suction power
  • Excellent performance on wet and dried stains
  • Comprehensive and versatile attachment set
  • Innovative onboard hose system for immediate spot cleaning
  • Dual-activated oxy solution mixing for enhanced cleaning
  • Easy-to-empty dirt bin
  • Smaller water tank when compared to others

The Shark CarpetXpert EX201. © Vacuum Wars
The Shark CarpetXpert EX201. © Vacuum Wars

The CarpetXpert provides a streamlined approach to carpet cleaning. Let’s explore what it can do for your home, starting with the basics. 

The Shark CarpetXpert EX201

To use the CarpetXpert, fill the machine’s clean water tank with warm water and the included cleaning solution. Then, you’ll need to fill its separate oxy tank with Shark’s oxy solution. 

Adding the oxy solution to the CarpetXpert’s oxy tank. © Vacuum Wars

Once that’s done, turn on the CarpetXpert and choose your preferred mode to begin cleaning. There’s a deep clean mode and an express mode. The deep clean mode is for comprehensive cleaning, while the express mode uses less water for quicker, lighter cleaning with faster drying times. 

Close-up view of the Shark CarpetXpert EX201's control panel.
Cleaning modes on the CarpetXpert EX201. © Vacuum Wars

Like any standard vacuum, just move over your carpets in a back-and-forth motion.

The Shark CarpetXpert will automatically mix the solution and dispense water, eliminating the need to do them manually. This is unlike other carpet cleaners, where you usually need to use a manual trigger. 

It also includes a built-in hose and attachment set for targeted spot cleaning, which we will explore shortly. 

Shark CarpetXpert EX201 evaluation and performance

For our Shark CarpetXpert review, we put the product through many real-world situations, and it performed great. It even outperformed the Bissell Revolution HydroSteam in several aspects.

Suction power

The suction power of a carpet cleaner is crucial because it directly impacts the machine’s ability to pick up water. And the better your machine is at this, the deeper the cleaning is and the faster the drying time. We found that the CarpetXpert shines in this area.

Shark EX201 carpet cleaner demonstrating its powerful suction capabilities.
The CarpetXpert has some of the most powerful suction power we have seen. © Vacuum Wars

In our evaluation, we measured its sealed suction at the hose and base, and its unsealed suction at the floorhead. The CarpetXpert was impressive and had the most powerful suction among carpet cleaners we’ve seen. For example, it scored way above average numbers at the floorhead.

Comparative chart showing the Shark CarpetXpert EX201's unsealed suction at the head outperforming Bissell models.
CarpetXpert leads with exceptional suction performance. © Vacuum Wars

Having something this reliable at home is always good since keeping a carpet clean extends its lifespan.

Shark CarpetXpert features

Onboard hose

A significant advantage of the Shark CarpetXpert is its onboard hose, which means that it will always be with you as you clean. So, whenever you come across those inevitable stubborn spots, you can quickly use the hose to spot clean without interrupting the main cleaning process.

Handheld attachment of the Shark CarpetXpert EX201 being used on a carpet to remove a concentrated stain.
Enjoy precise spot cleaning with the CarpetXpert. © Vacuum Wars

The onboard hose significantly enhances user convenience and efficiency during cleaning sessions. In contrast, most other carpet cleaners require that you fetch and connect the hose, which is a hassle. 

Attachment set

The Shark CarpetXpert EX201’s attachment set is phenomenal, featuring a selection of high-quality tools designed for various cleaning challenges.

Its main brush is durable and worked effectively for us. For example, on a head-to-head attachment comparison with the Bissell HydroSteam on wet grape juice stains (one pretreated and another without pretreatment), the Shark performed arguably better in both cases.

Before and after images of carpet cleaning performance tests comparing the Shark CarpetXpert EX201 and Bissell.
The Shark CarpetXpert excels in stain removal. © Vacuum Wars

The main brush has a special plastic attachment designed for particularly challenging messes.

Close-up of the EX201's special pet tool attachment.
The EX201’s innovative pet tool for tough messes. © Vacuum Wars

There’s also a pet urine brush, which separates most of the urine—making cleanup more efficient and hygienic for pet owners.

The specialized pet urine brush attachment from the CarpetXpert EX201.
Targeted cleaning with the Shark CarpetXpert’s pet urine brush. © Vacuum Wars

Another unique addition is what Shark calls a crevice tool, something new we haven’t seen with carpet cleaners before. Its purpose is to help you clean hard-to-reach areas more easily. 

Hand holding the crevice tool of the EX201 against the backdrop of the upright vacuum.
The crevice tool attachment for the Shark CarpetXpert EX201. © Vacuum Wars

You’ll also find a hose cleaning tool and extra cleaning solution, which are excellent.

Hand holding the EX201's hose cleaning tool.
The hose cleaning tool of the Shark CarpetXpert EX201. © Vacuum Wars

Dual-activated solution dispensing

This carpet cleaner comes with a dual-activated solution dispensing system, which keeps the oxy solution separate until the moment of contact, providing a cleaning power boost.

A view of the EX201's dual-action technology mixing and activating cleaning solutions in the hose attachment.
Effortless solution mixing and activation. © Vacuum Wars

Shark claims that CarpetXpert’s dual-activated system increases cleaning power by 20%, which aligns with some of our pickup evaluation results. 

We evaluated it with dried-on coyote urine against the Bissell HydroSteam, where one set of stains was pretreated with Hydrogen Peroxide and the other used Shark’s respective solution. The CarpetXpert outperformed the highly regarded HydroSteam, which is impressive. Especially considering the HydroSteam was our previous favorite pick.

Similarly, when pitted against the Bissell 2X Revolution with dried dirt stains, the Shark matched, if not exceeded, its competitor’s performance.

The Shark CarpetXpert has one of the best power numbers we’ve seen, performing amazingly well with our wet and dried-on stain tests. It even outdid some of the best carpet cleaners in the industry and has an unparalleled attachment set. 

Interestingly, the Shark CarpetXpert achieves these results with a roller design that diverges from current trends. It features a single, fast-spinning roller, unlike the dual-roller systems commonly found in other models.

Front view of the EX201 showcasing its single high-speed roller for deep carpet cleaning.
The CarpetXpert EX201 comes with a unique roller. © Vacuum Wars

Moreover, the bristles aren’t especially stiff, a departure from the norm among other carpet cleaners in its class. That could be due to the fast-spinning brush, suction power, or the oxy mixture, but whatever Shark did, it’s working.

Dirty water tank

Another great thing about the Shark CarpetXpert EX201 is its dirty water tank. Unlike the often cumbersome process associated with emptying the tanks of some competitors, such as Bissell models, this one is designed for ease. 

It comprises just two parts and has ample space, allowing you to rinse out the suds for storage quickly.  This alone is a reason to buy it, in our opinion.

Rinsing the clear dirty water tank of the Shark CarpetXpert EX201 in the sink.
Easy cleaning and maintenance with the EX201’s dirty water tank. © Vacuum Wars

Ease of use

The CarpetXpert scores high on ease of use, striking a good balance between robust functionality and user-friendly design. While it’s not the lightest on the market, at 18 pounds, it is still lighter and more agile than most carpet cleaners. For instance, the Bissell HydroSteam weighs 22 pounds. 

Cons of the Shark CarpetXpert

We can’t end this Shark CarpetXpert review without discussing the cons. While the carpet cleaner boasts many strengths, it has one potential limitation. 

Water tank

The water tank capacity might raise eyebrows. At three-quarters of a gallon, it’s slightly smaller than the one-gallon tanks found in many competing models. This difference initially sparked concerns about the machine’s efficiency and endurance. So, we evaluated its water usage against the Bissel 2X Revolution, which comes with a one-gallon tank. 

We found that the Shark CarpetXpert outperformed the Bissell regarding how many timed passes it could do. It did 16 timed passes compared to the Bissell’s 15, indicating the Shark uses less water per pass in its Max mode.

However, it’s important to note that the Bissell has three water modes compared to the CarpetXpert, which has two. Plus, we only tested their Max modes. 

Overall, it does not seem like the smaller tank affects the carpet cleaner’s performance.

Shark CarpetXpert EX201 review: Value and final thoughts

The Shark CarpetXpert has one of the best power numbers we’ve seen, performing amazingly well with our wet and dried-on stain tests. It even outdid some of the best carpet cleaners in the industry and has an unparalleled attachment set. 

Features such as the onboard hose system, oxy solution mixing system, and easily emptied dirt bin are game changers that make it well worth the premium price. So we highly recommend the Shark CarpetExpertEX201. If you value thorough cleaning performance, then the Shark CarpetXpert just might be your next carpet cleaner.

our Shark CarpetXpert in at the Vacuum Wars studio.
Our Shark CarpetXpert in our studio © Vacuum Wars
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